Dominik Szoboszlai’s transfer is closing in on completion for Liverpool, and it promises to be exciting for supporters around the world. It is yet another potential entry in midfield that could usher in Jürgen Klopp’s new era at Anfield.
Despite being only 22 years old, the Hungarian has had to take many steps to get this far in his career. He has already earned 40 caps for his country and been awarded the national team armband, so he has a wealth of experience.
And he’s already achieved some very important moments in his career, including a plethora of world-class goals that make for entertaining YouTube highlights.
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Liverpool.com has decided to compile his five best and most important moments of his career leading up to his anticipated transfer to Anfield, with a deal to be confirmed in the next 24 hours (according to The Athletic).
Szoboszlai scores at the last minute and makes history
In the spring of 2017, even in Hungary, few people had heard of Dominik Szoboszlai. He had just moved to Red Bull Salzburg and was only 16 years old.
But in Hungary’s elite qualifying round for the U17 European Championship, the boy with the captain’s armband made a name for himself.
He started by scoring a brace with two identical free-kicks against Russia, and then the icing on the cake came in Hungary’s final game against Norway.
Hungary needed a win to qualify. Szoboszlai competed against his future friend and teammate in Salzburg, Erling Haaland.
Fast forward to extra time as the last few minutes run out and the game is tied. Szoboszlai receives the ball just outside the edge of the penalty area and curls it into the top corner in the last seconds of the game.
Hungary had not qualified for a U17 tournament since 2006. That goal caused quite a stir in the Hungarian media and it saw him promoted to the U21s and even training with the senior national team at just 16 years old.
A few years later, Dominik Szoboszlai has progressed through the ranks at Red Bull Salzburg to establish himself in the starting eleven. It’s 2019, Szoboszlai’s first ever season in the Champions League and he’s up against current champions Liverpool.
The experience made a huge impression on Szoboszlai at the time, who played to a packed Anfield in a spectacular 4-3 game. But he stood out all the more in the second game in Salzburg, after which even Klopp seemingly noticed.
After that game, the Liverpool boss came forward to congratulate the Hungarian on his performance.
“When someone like Klopp comes up to you after the final whistle and tells you ‘great job’ it means you’re probably on the right track,” Szoboszlai later told Nemzeti Sport.
Become a hero and make history again
A year later, at just 20 years old, Szoboszlai became a leading figure for the Hungarian national team and also for Salzburg.
Returning from quarantine during the pandemic in renewed form, he has dominated games for Salzburg at club level, while scoring some spectacular goals for Hungary in the Nations League, with his effort against Turkey being a case in point.
But the biggest moment of his career came against Iceland in a play-off for a spot at the 2020 European Championship.
The game, like against Norway in 2017, seemed to be heading for a stalemate. But in the dying embers, Szoboszlai stepped up. A waltzing run through a maze of Icelandic defenders saw him take a shot from about 20 yards that nestled perfectly in the corner of the net.
At the age of 20, Szoboszlai had just scored a goal that made him an instant hero in Hungary. A few months later he made the big move to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
Overcoming Neymar’s taunts
In Leipzig, Szoboszlai had to rest briefly due to injury, but he recovered under Jesse Marsch and became a leading figure in the team.
One of the most affirming moments of his Leipzig career was in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.
Szoboszlai was an early second-half substitute in that game and when Leipzig conceded a penalty in the 92nd minute while trailing PSG 2–1, it was the Hungarian who stepped up to take the kick.
As the VAR check continued, Szoboszlai had to withstand the taunts and mind games of Neymar, who came up to him and brazenly asked if he would score.
Szoboszlai’s answer was immediate. He put the ball past the imposing Gianluigi Donnarumma into the PSG net and secured an important point for his side.
As you can see below, Szoboszlai reacted quite confidently to Neymar’s taunts.
A goal in the DFB Pokal
Szoboszlai’s highlight in Leipzig is the German Cup final earlier this summer. He had already won the cup the season before, but this time he played a much more decisive role.
The Hungarian scored two goals in the semi-finals and then scored the decisive goal in the final to lift the trophy against Eintracht Frankfurt. This was the first goal by a Hungarian in the German Cup Final since Lajos Détári in the 1980s.
Szoboszlai is now a Hungarian senior international captain and is finishing the season on a high at club level, including scoring a winner against Bayern Munich. Szoboszlai has achieved a status few have in Hungarian football.
A move to Liverpool would make perfect sense at this stage of his career.
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